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Year : 2016  |  Volume : 9  |  Issue : 1  |  Page : 37-43

Awareness, knowledge, and barriers to low vision services among eye care practitioners

Department of Optometry, School of Allied Health Sciences, Manipal University, Manipal, Karnataka, India

Correspondence Address:
Jyothi Thomas
Department of Optometry, School of Allied Health Sciences, Manipal University, Manipal - 576 104, Karnataka
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Source of Support: None, Conflict of Interest: None

DOI: 10.4103/0974-620X.176099

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Background: Eyesight plays an important role in our day today life. When the vision gets hampered, daily activities of an individual will be affected. The prevalence of visual impairment is increasing across the globe, with more burdens on the developing world. The uptake of low vision services remains to be low in developing countries like India. Methods: A newly constructed questionnaire using information from previously conducted telephonic interviews and article search was administered among 50 eye care practitioners from Kerala, India for the pilot study. Modifications were made in the questionnaire, based on the responses obtained from the pilot study. From their responses, awareness, knowledge, and barriers for the low vision services among eye care practitioners were assessed. Results: (1) Pilot study - the Cronbach's alpha values obtained for knowledge, awareness and barrier questions were 0.814, 0.297, and 0.810, respectively, and content validity index was found to be 0.64. (2) Main study - 211 eye care practitioners from 12 states of India took part in the study that accounted for a response rate of 16.7%. The participants included were 95 (45%) men and 116 (55%) women with a mean age of 28.18 ± 7.04 years. The lack of awareness was found to be the major barrier in the provision and uptake of low vision services from the practitioner's perspective. Conclusion: The study results showed that there is a lack of awareness among eye care practitioners about low vision services, which acts as a major barrier in the effective delivery of these services.

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